ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains May 26th, 2022

Welcome back to the Mountain Conditions Summaries. It feels almost like summer today but it has been a long cool spring and in the Valleys and the Mountains it really feels more like early May than late May.

Skiing is still possible and even reasonable at times on the Icefields and in most Alpine features. Snow and ice climbing conditions are also potentially good. The caveat being that as always in the spring you need a cold, clear night to get the kind of freeze you can trust.

The snowpack in most places has really only had a few really warm spells so there is certainly still lots of potential for big spring climax avalanches. While the runouts may be melting out there is still lots of snow in most start zones. The avalanche tracks may be rough but still snowy on at least shaded aspects so wet avalanches may still run surprisingly far. Cornices are still looming in lots of places.

The forecast is for rain to at least treeline tomorrow along the divides so that wont really do any favors for the snowpack. Expect wet loose avalanches at least and if it doesn't freeze overnight that rain may fall on a weak wet snowpack and maybe just maybe trigger some large avalanches??

Ticks were out on Guides Rock today. It is also the season when we get out and test all those lovely handholds that have been melting and freezing all winter. Those same conditions have also been occurring on the big faces. I am always even more conservative when choosing how to manage my exposure to big cliffs during periods of change like spring, rain storms or extended hot spells.

Most rivers and streams are still very low for this time of year. That may change quickly IF we ever get into an extended warm spell like we should have already.

No smoke yet:)

Larry Stanier
ACMG Mountain Guide

On The Map

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.